After three wonderful nights camping in Colorado, it was time to head back home to Kansas. When I finally got on the road, my first stop was, yes, Walmart. Again. What is so nice about stopping at a Walmart is the huge parking lot. You can park in two spots in the back of the lot and not have to worry about backing up. I do have challenges with chronic illness, and I was having some trouble with back pain. I lay down my yoga mat beside my car in the parking lot and did my stretches using my foam roller. I must have looked like the lady who had fallen and couldn’t get up because several people stopped abruptly to see if I was OK. I just waved them on smiling and saying I was fine. I looked like a tangled up beached whale flailing around on the asphalt, but I didn’t care and it helped!
Packing up the last morning I felt more tired than usual, but I kept going. Jerry, my new Twitter friend, texted me after a couple hours & warned me about severe weather in my path. He suggested pulling over for a few hours. This would mean some night driving as it was getting late in the day. I don’t like to drive at night, much less in an unpredictable storm, and I didn’t feel well. I bailed and found the nearest hotel. I realized I was pretty sick because my voice was completely gone, and I was coughing up green phlegm nonstop.
After a good sleep, I got back on the road. I still felt terrible, and could not speak above a whisper. I usually chat with anyone who comes in my path, so this was really cramping my style. Jerry and I couldn’t communicate except through text messaging. When I arrived in Colby, I texted him that I had found an urgent care clinic open the next morning and would he please watch Happy while I saw a doctor? Jerry was a tremendous help. He took care of me the whole day. He offered to take me to Urgent Care, agreed to watch my dog, and drove me all over town on a wild goose chase trying to figure out where they sent my prescriptions. (Ok, the “town” isn’t that big, but still!) At one point I had a complete meltdown from exhaustion & the sticker shock at the expense of my meds. He was calm cool and collected even though it was very difficult to communicate since I had no voice. Even whispering was a strain. I’m so thankful for his help.
The doctor told me I had Bronchitis, gave me some medications, and told me to rest. I stayed In Colby another night and tried to get home the next day. It wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t have the energy, so I stopped again in Salina for two nights. I finally made it home on the 4th of July in the early evening. I was happy to show off my new purchase to family and friends. Several people have even called to invite themselves over to take a look! I think I’ll have an open house when I get it fixed up and I’m ready to hit the road again.
I’m posting this latest blog entry in August because I’ve been sick since my trip. I developed a sinus infection that I haven’t been able to get rid of. Right now, I’m on my 4th antibiotic. My initial illness was most likely due to allergies. I’ve got my trailer in the shop being looked over for any mold, but Colorado in the summer has a number of environmental allergens that could also be the cause.
I learned quite a few things on my first journey. My health will still be a big challenge, but I will just take things slowly when I face challenges. I will need to develop a community, so meeting up with people will be very important. Safety on the road is of the utmost importance. I couldn’t drive over 62mph and still stay steady when trucks whizzed by. (I am having a sway bar installed to help with this.)
In less than two weeks, I will officially be an empty nester. (Yikes!) Despite my challenges, I’m still going forward with my quest. In the coming months I’ll be traveling to Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and I plan to winter in the desert southwest. I hope to meet up with you along the way!